Ten days and 1.5 miles of yarn later: the all seed stitch Smock Coat is done. I'm so proud of myself, I think I'm still all glowy from ego dust. I did not complain once (after I cast on that is) that seed stitch hurt my hands and was laborious. Master Blackhead said I griped more about the seed stitch before I started than once I started.
Name: Seeds of Love, 2-3 yr old
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft Baby dk, Imp
Yarn Source: Gift from MamaSara
Needles: US 3 32" Addi Turbos, US 5 32" Addi Turbos
Pattern: Smock Coat by Debbie Bliss, from Simply Baby
Comments: Thank goodness MamaSara provided such an ample amount of yarn. I used 9.5 balls bringing the amount of yarn used to around 1400 yd. The pattern called for less than 1100. Such a huge discrepancy could have spelled disaster. I know from past experience that dyelot matters very much when it comes to this yarn (witness the Glacial Mimosa). Originally, I had planned to knit a matching beret, but there simply isn't enough yarn.
All in all, the pattern is very well written. The one errata was trivial, most knitters would have figured it out right away. My one quibble with this pattern, indeed all the patterns in the book, is there are no diagrams! This was somewhat a big deal for me because depending on the sleeve type, I would either cast on at the cuff or pick up at the shoulder for the sleeves. In case you are wondering, it's a modified drop shoulder (so I picked up the sleeve stitches).
As for finishing, I already had three of the buttons I would need already in my button box. They were expensive IMHO, but absolutely worth it. Master Blackhead and I hit up the ribbon place and found a delightful black grosgrain. He thought all black would be better, but I think that would have been too somber. I was initially worried that black would be heavy for a little girl, but with the peach it reminds me a bit of Chanel. I think the white running stitch in the ribbon keeps it light and fun. Don't you?
Here's an overall shot of the coat. I'm not happy with the way the short rows left holes at the top of the collar; however, I imagine that once it is being worn it won't be such an issue.
I've already started the next project. Jared Flood and the Rainey Sisters' Hemlock Ring Blanket. I know it isn't really practical for a baby since it is lace, but it's so pretty. The yarn is DiVe's Zenith, which I love. Sure it is a little prone to splitting, but the softness and machine washability make up for it. Despite all the "no pink" talk, I just love this icy shade of that oft overused girly color. I think the center looks a lot like a dahlia and like its textural 3D look. It's a shame it'll get pulled flat during blocking. The well written pattern is just interesting enough to not be boring, but simple enough to bring to group knitting. I'm already halfway done. More to come later.